Students Rank Optimal Study Spaces

With limited study spaces, quiet standouts emerge.


The Cherne, a relatively quiet study space on the 3rd floor

During free block, many students choose to work on their homework, but finding a quiet and productive study spot is often impossible. The most popular study places are those which are quiet enough to focus in. But due to each student’s schedule, everyone who wants to study is doing it at the same time as others. This time typically falls over a lunch period or TASC and tutorial. Because of this overlap, the ability to get a space to study all by yourself is like finding a needle in a haystack. Some of the most popular locations include the library, study rooms, the 3rd floor English wing hallway, the Cherne Forum, and the Northrup Alumni Room, or N.A.R..

The library provides a good location for studying because of its tables and chairs. Furthermore, many students like it because it is a very social spot and they will most likely see their friends there. Also, the books and other resources are nearby, making researching very easy to do in that location. However, even though this space is a resourceful location for many reasons, the only drawback is that it is noisy and provides for many distractions. These include friends having conversations and playing games. One way that students have found a way around this issue is to take advantage of the silent tutorials that librarians offer near the end of each semester.

A study room in the library, outfitted with whiteboard walls and a TV.

The study rooms around the library are likely the most popular and most effective places to study in the Upper School. They share the same resources as in the spaces in the library and are also effective in blocking out the noise from socialization in the library as well as in the Carlson Commons. Kunga Shidhe-Chokra ‘22 explains, “I like the study rooms because they offer a space that you aren’t distracted from the nosiness of the library.” Yet, study rooms, because of their popularity, are hard to get for most students and getting one is pretty lucky.

Next, another great study place can be found in the English wing hallway at the top of the East wing stairs. This hallway features two tables that can fit a capacity of 6 people, or more depending on if people sit on the ground. With the stairs blocked by a door as well as another door closing the hallway off to the English wing, it provides for a silent space unlike any other in the school. Free from all distractions, the hallway provides an excellent space for work to get done. The only downside of this space is that every few minutes, someone will walk through the hallway to use the staircase. Casey Stocking ‘20  says, “It’s a really nice place to do homework because it is very warm and surprisingly quiet to be in.”

Finally, another one of the most popular study spaces at the Upper School is the Cherne and the N.A.R. While these spaces are located in the middle of popular social spots, they are closed in to provide quietness and privacy. Even though many students can be seen studying in these spaces, there are more downsides to them than in other spaces. For example, these spaces are often used for club meetings or other events, making it hard to know when it will be free to use. Furthermore, the spaces are often used by many people, unlike the hallway and study rooms. Joe Gustaferro ‘20 remarks, “The N.A.R. is nice because it is quiet and on the third floor. Since the third floor doesn’t have much traffic, you won’t get distracted as easily.”

The are many different places that are effective for studying. Depending on the day and the time, the hallway in the English wing, and the study rooms in the library are consistently rated the best places by many students.